If everything you know about rock climbing comes from watching Hollywood movies such as "cliffhanger" and "vertical Limit" then allow us to shatter a few myths. Unlike Tom Cruise, who dangled bare-handed from a cliff in "MI2" most climbers use special equipment and climb with a partner. Knowing how to use this equipment properly can mean the difference between life and death.
Watching well-muscled actors scale the sides of tall buildings may make you wonder about climbing's other requirements. "Don't I need a strong upper body to be a climber?" Actually, you don't. When pushing your way up a rock wall, your legs and feet are your most important tools. Your hands are used mostly for holding on to the rock and keeping steady.
And contrary to what you may think, climbing is by no means a guys-only sport. Since agility and a keen sense of balance are skills essential to the sport, women climb just as well as, or better than, men.